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The Target (Will Robie Series) by David Baldacci

The TargetReviewed by Allen Hott

The Target’s main characters have moved or grown into today’s world from the days of Mr. Baldacci’s Camel Club. He does specialize in the government’s happenings and especially those of the various defense segments of the Washington arena. In The Target he again uses his new favorite agents. Will Robie and Jessica Reel may be American citizens much like the older crew from the Camel Club but they are much more refined and definitely much more up to date with the latest technology and know-how than the previous characters.
These two spend most of their lives doing the most dangerous assignments that can be handed down by the CIA and sometimes even higher persons in the U.S. government. However on one of their last missions they had actually over fulfilled their goal. During the operation Reel had discovered that two of the top CIA agents actually were turncoats and were going to not only abort the mission but they planned to kill several high level government personnel. Reel with some help from a wounded Robie at the time finished their mission while also killing the two turncoats. Read the rest of this entry »

King and Maxwell by David Baldacci

King and MaxwellReviewed by Allen Hott

Per all the information I have gathered, David Baldacci worked in Washington, D.C. for a number of years as an attorney. However after reading many of his novels I feel that he must somehow have been involved in espionage or counter-espionage or something!

Most of his stories somehow involve some sort of spying, government mismanagement, or something related to the government and all of its intelligence agencies. I am not in any way knocking his strategy because he can really write some interesting tales about our government and especially about the shady things happening in Washington. I suppose he makes up all of these situations but all I can say is he has some vivid imagination or maybe….who knows? Read the rest of this entry »

The Hit by David Baldacci

The Hit Reviewed by Allen Hott

David Baldacci introduced his readers to Will Robie earlier in another story and now he has him on a new mission. In case you missed it, Robie is a top U.S. government assassin who does away with the government’s enemies usually one or so at a time. No, he is not a member of our armed forces although he has been trained as such. Now he works strictly undercover for a special unit that reports pretty much directly to the president. As Robie moves along in this tale he also has contacts with Julie Getty, a young girl who now relies on him for strength and hope. He also reunites with Nichole Vance, an agent for the FBI who has worked alongside Robie in the past.

But Robie in this story meets up with a former female agent that he trained with several years ago. Jessica Reel was one of the best that Robie had ever seen join the group. One of the best overall not just one of the best women! And from what he has heard she has excelled in her assignments since becoming a full time assassin.

However something seems to be amiss as all indications are that on her last assignment she did the unthinkable. The unit’s hits are directed via all types of top of the line electronic communications. And they are basically fail safe! However in Reel’s last case she was given the task of taking out a leader of a Middle Eastern nation that was using his power in a way not accepted by the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

The Forgotten by David Baldacci

The Forgotten Reviewed by Allen Hott

It appears that Mr. Baldacci has replaced his Camel Club assortment of characters for at least one new recurring character. I say new which isn’t true because Army Special Agent John Puller was first on the scene in Zero Day and Baldacci also introduced a new one (Will Robie) in The Innocent. So perhaps he is only trying to expand his field of characters so that he can build sequences for his readers to enjoy. And they do!

In The Forgotten John Puller is called by his brother who is serving time in a military prison for supposed treason. His brother tells him that their father, a retired Army General, who is in a Veterans Hospital, has received some sort of a troubling letter. The administrators are not sure what is in the letter as the old man who is suffering from dementia and depression will not allow anyone to see it but they felt the family should look into it.

When John gets there the old man shows him the letter which is from John’s aunt (the old man’s sister) and she is upset about some recent happenings in Paradise Florida where she lives. She asked the old man if he would have John come down and use his investigating skills. John tells the old man he will check it out and heads off to visit his aunt. She was his favorite when he was growing up because she always had time for him and would not only listen to him but also give him good advice. Read the rest of this entry »

The Innocent by David Baldacci

The Innocent by David BaldacciReviewed by Allen Hott

Looks like a new leading character for David Baldacci. However he has pretty much maintained the same general location (our nation’s capital area) and same type of plot. Oh yeah he has definitely maintained his style, which without a doubt is one of the best in mystery/political thrillers.

The Innocent is in fact a young girl who has been orphaned when her parents were caught up in a political skirmish brought about by their military involvement from years past. At about the same time that she is trying to find out why it happened to her parents along comes Will Robie who happens to be completely at a loss as to what happened on his most recent assassination attempt. Yes, that’s right. Will Robie is an assassin who works for the United States government. Do you believe that these folks exist? I feel certain that they do and David Baldacci has built a terrific story about one of them.

It just so happens that Robie gets on to a bus to make his getaway from the blown assassination attempt (which also turned out to be the perfect setup for later subplots). While on that bus he manages to save Julie Getty. The fourteen -year old Julie Getty is in fact The Innocent. After Robie saves her from probable death on the bus, the two of them exit the bus and start up the street just as the bus explodes. Read the rest of this entry »

Zero Day by David Baldacci

Zero DayReviewed by Allen Hott

The creator of The Camel Club and other great stories that were based in the Washington D.C. area or had characters that were involved in governmental investigation has come out with a new hero. Baldacci’s John Puller earned his stripes in many years of fighting for his country around the world and now works as a CID investigator.

Puller not only has his military background but his father is a retired general and his brother, an army major and nuclear scientist, had been found guilty of treason against his country. So now even though his brother was in prison for life and his father is suffering from the beginnings of Alzheimer’s, John Puller is an army brat that can never stop serving his country regardless of unforeseen circumstances.

His current case seems to be a bit odd as he is sent to Drake, West Virginia to investigate a recent murder of a career soldier who was with the Defense Intelligence Authority. Puller questions why the murder isn’t handled by the locals and also nearby Military Police investigators. He is told by the SAC, not his normal chain of command, that the case warrants an investigation by the CID and that he though working alone can catch on with any local police who seem to be interested in the case. Read the rest of this entry »

True Blue by David Baldacci (Review #2)

True BlueReviewed by Cy Hilterman

David Baldacci has written many terrific stories and “True Blue” is no exception. The story takes two sisters, one, Beth Perry, is the Chief of Police of Washington, DC and the other, Mace Perry, a former police woman who has spent the last two years in prison due to trumped up charges against her. Mace’s tough life in prison finally comes to an end with her release a bit early thanks to her sister but her last few days in prison were not pleasant. The only thing in Mace’s mind now that she is out of prison is to find out who framed her so she, hopefully, can get back on the police force. That was her life; all she ever wanted to do. Roy Kingman is an attorney who leads an active life when not in the courts fighting for his clients. Eventually Mace and Roy work together to help her find the one that got her sent to prison. Mace knows Washington, the good and bad sections and she has little concern going anywhere because she knows what and who to watch out for in any area riding her fancy Ducati Sport motorcycle. She feels she can take care of herself. Famous words that many of us think in our lives! Read the rest of this entry »

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci (Review #2)

The Sixth ManReviewed by Allen Hott

Once again, David Baldacci calls upon Sean King and Michelle Maxwell to solve a crime involving national politics. The Sixth Man is their fifth adventure together and all have been somehow involved in that area. And as usual their adventure turns into a win-win for the reader. A lot of action, suspense, and plot twists and turns without a lot of profanity or out and out sex. Baldacci knows how to write to please most readers.

The Sixth Man is actually a type of savant. Edgar Roy, the Sixth Man, has a photographic mind and he does not forget anything that he has ever seen or heard in his entire lifetime. With this tremendous ability he is also able to basically foresee what may come next. He has so much stored information that he is able to call upon as reference points that very few happenings are completely new to him.

Peter Bunting, the founder and head of one of the country’s largest intelligence groups, has been using Edgar Roy to keep not only up with the happenings around the world but to even predict with some certainty future events.

However Roy was recently charged with the death of six men whose bodies were found in his barn. Consequently he now is imprisoned in Cutter’s Rock, a super security Federal prison for the criminally insane. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sixth Man by David Baldacci

The Sixth ManReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are on their way to meet Attorney Ted Bergin and his client, Edgar Roy when they find Bergin murdered in his car along a deserted road. Roy is being held at a federal maximum security prison for the criminally insane in a remote part of Maine because he supposedly is a serial killer. Six bodies were found buried in the floor of his barn. This is a huge loss for the defense department because Roy has what is known as a eidetic mind meaning he can process huge amounts of information visually in seconds-and he remembers everything he sees. Before his arrest, he was asked to sit and watch multiple screens streaming data from all over the world and quickly analyze the meaning. Whether Edgar Roy killed the people buried in his barn or not becomes fairly clear to the reader early on. Who-or at least the broader category of who- turned the police on him is also relatively clear by midpoint in the book.

There is quite a long list of characters that play significant roles in the plot. One of the biggest challenges for readers is to figure out who is playing on whose team-an answer that may well shift several times throughout the book.

This book is definitely a “ripped from the headlines” type thriller centered around government contracts awarded for defense intelligence and it will leave the reader thinking about how exactly our intelligence is both gathered and analyzed. While this is clearly a work of fiction, the plot is built on the supposition that although government satellites may gather images from around the world and spooks my turn up information from far flung regions, who exactly is processing this data? In essence, this is a story about who is connecting the dots.

It is not necessary to have read any of the previous books with Sean and Michelle to follow this one. While little bits and pieces of their past is sprinkled throughout the book, this is for all practical purposes a stand alone book with in a series. In fact, there are some elements in this book that readers who are fans of the duo may not really enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »

Deliver Us from Evil by David Baldacci

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Deliver Us fro Evil by David BaldacciReviewed by Allen Hott

Somewhat of a new locale for David Baldacci’s characters. Normally they are centered in the Washington D.C. area or close by but in Deliver Us from Evil the action is pretty much located in France. New location but the action is still the same as Shaw, a mercenary again working for the U.S. government is on the hunt.

This time he is hunting for Evan Waller who has mainly been involved in every illegal occupation known to man. Most recently Waller has been having young girls from the Middle and Far East kidnapped and sent to the U.S. and other European countries as sex slaves. However the State Department has been hearing that he now is working with terrorists who plan nuclear attacks against the West. Waller for a price will furnish the terrorists with the weapons, which he has been able to buy primarily from Russia as they downsize their arsenal.

However while Shaw is trying to run down Waller another group of vigilantes has been tracking him under his former identity, which was Fedir Kuchin. Kuchin/Waller was a Ukrainian who joined the Soviets many years before the USSR decided to basically wipe out the Ukraine. Kuchin/Waller was one of the highest-ranking Soviet officers who handled the killings and devastation of the Ukraine. This vigilante group has been hunting down and killing the Soviet officers who managed to leave the USSR before it basically blew apart. These Soviet killers have taken new identities and many like Kuchin/Waller have basically continued their criminal ways. Read the rest of this entry »